Monday, June 30, 2014

Scenic Castles and Mountains...

That picture is the mansion that is in our area. The house in the bottom right corner is the one with the dragons in front of it. We have yet to go into the mansion. We can't get a hold of the people that live there and the gates are always closed. Maybe no one lives there, I don't know. Anyways, this week has been good. Ryan is on date right now for July 15th, the day before Elder Williams leaves. There are some people that are trying to push the date back but we have fasted and prayed that all will work out and so we know it will. We are still trying to get Cat a job, we are meeting with her and an employment specialist on Tuesday and so we expect good things to come from that. She wants to get baptized though. Other than that we have been trying to find more people to teach this week. We teach a lot of less active or inactive people so we get to teach every day which is good. The senior couple in this stake just got released but we accidentally found out who the new couple is going to be. I am excited to serve with them here in the near future. We don't know when the call is going to be "official" The temple was so awesome last week!!! I said we were going with a man who used to be in the Draper temple presidency and.. well.. my mind was blown. I wish I could go to the temple more often! Elder Williams and I have been doing some hiking for our morning workout, it has been awesome! We get up earlier than we need to so we can have some more time up there. It is great because we can just look out over the whole valley. It looks so cool. We took our scriptures up there one day and studied a little bit on some rocks. I love hiking. Things have been great though and we are working hard to find more people we can teach. I know that the gospel is true. I know that through Jesus Christ we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys. I know that we are meant to be happy in this life and that we can find that happiness through the gospel. Have a great week everyone!! Love you all -Elder McKinney

oh, the other picture is when we went up the mountain with our scriptures and studied for a few minutes up there.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Many Miracles!

This week has been great and we have seen many miracles! Oh by the way we are going to the temple today, hence why I am emailing today instead of yesterday. We now have a person on date! Well actually we don't have a specific date because they need to figure out when the family will be here but it will be within July 10-15th! His name is Ryan. He is 9 years old. He has been taught by missionaries in the past but never got baptized because they wanted to wait for the step dad to do it but he wasn't worthy. We went by and it turns out Ryan had told his mom earlier that week that he wanted to get baptized and so when we asked him he said yes, even if it isn't his step dad who baptizes him. So we are super excited for him! We also took Cat to temple square and it was an awesome experience! The spirit was there and she for sure felt it! She said yes to baptism but she still has to get off work on Sundays so she can come to church. We are trying to help her find a new job. Once she does she will be baptized though :) Then, we are meeting with a young girl tonight that has been coming with a family to church for the past few months or so and wants to be baptized so that will be another one right there. I am glad that we will be able to help her now before waiting any longer. We will also try to help the mother to accept baptism as well. That's the rough review of our investigators.

I am super excited to go to the temple today! I have learned so much more since last time and can't wait to learn even more! We have a member that used to be in the Draper temple presidency coming with us so that will be cool too. The work is going great and Elder Williams is awesome. He only has a few weeks left but he is still working hard. I'm glad that the missionaries I've been with who have been going home were still hard workers even in the last transfer. It would make it a lot more difficult if they stopped working or didn't give it their all. Thankfully Elder Williams is giving it his all and some. I have some more pictures but my mom will get them and put them on the blog. For those who don't know my mom is keeping a blog of my mission and for the most part its just my emails and stuff but sometimes I send more pictures to her that she puts on there. So feel free to check it out. I hope all of you have a great week and continue to build up the kingdom wherever you are! Love you all! -Elder McKinney

The pics this week are: Temple Square with Cat, The District, Favorite Castle/house, and with comp Elder Williams.

This is possibly my favorite house in our area... my favorite castle rather haha. Both dragons are at the house and it really does looklike a castle.. complete with moat

Monday, June 16, 2014

Great Week!

This week has been so great! This is probably the best I have ever felt on my mission and in my life. I have made a lot of changes in my life to try to improve and I have seen the blessings. Elder Williams and I are working hard every day and we expect to see many miracles this transfer. We picked up two new investigators this week. One was a former investigator who wants to be baptized but we have to figure out how to get her to church on Sundays because she is with her dad on the weekends. She is 10 years old I believe. The other is a man named Alex who is pretty open but we have to re-explain things a lot. Our other investigators (just in case I forgot to tell last week/as well as to give updates) are Cat who is progressing well but is still working on Sundays and cannot come to church. We are trying to help her find another job. Then we have Luis, I have yet to meet him and its really a confusing situation. As for right now we aren't really working with him I guess you could say. Then we have Rachel who said we could come by and answer questions/read the Book of Mormon with her but doesn't want anything else. She said she would go with us to a baptism this Saturday though so we are stoked for that! No one is on date for baptism but that will change this week :) Other than that we are working hard and it is going great. It was Elder Williams birthday yesterday and he turned 21. I love being on a mission :) I have found such happiness in sharing the gospel and in being obedient! I love you all and hope you all have wonderful week! -Elder McKinney

PS - We get to go to the Jordan River temple, which is weird since we are super close to the Draper, but I'm cool with that. So emails will come next Tuesday. We should be going to temple square this Friday with Cat.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Well, transfers came and I am now in... Sandy!! Didn't go too far, just a little south. I am now in the Sandy Crescent Stake. I am super excited to be here! I don't know what changed but I'm just so excited to go and work and help people come unto Christ. My new companion is Elder Williams. He is from Jacksonville Florida. He also goes home at the end of this transfer. I seem to be hitting a routine here. I'm with a companion in one area for a transfer and then they get transferred (sometimes home) and then I get a new companion for two transfers until I leave the area. We will see if it happens again. We cover the whole stake, there are seven wards. There is a senior couple serving here too but they are finishing their mission at the end of this month. They have served for five years now! So we will see if a new couple is called. We live in a members home above their garage. It used to be their daughters room and is decorated as such. We are going to be moving houses at the end of the transfer however because they have housed missionaries for about three years now. Yet another time I will change houses without being transferred. I guess its possible I could still get transferred out, but not likely. This area is... well really wealthy. I'm pretty sure we have the biggest house in the Salt Lake Valley in our area. Its more like a giant hotel. Its a crazy awesome mansion! We have yet to knock the door because the gate is always closed. We want to sometime though. Apparently they are members too. All the houses though in this area are so nice! Anytime we ask someone what they do for work its always "oh I created this company" or something like that. Pretty awesome. Pretty awesome houses. We work out in this members home where they have a treadmill and weights and stuff like that, but they also have a large basketball court in their basement. It is really quite amazing. We also apparently have the mission president of the East mission in our area somewhere. As well as President Bishop who is in our mission presidency. This area hold a lot. We have a few investigators. I have met with one of them so far and we are working to put her on date. Her name is Catilyn, no idea how to spell it. She goes by Cat. The members here seem to be more missionary minded than I've seen so far on my mission, which is good. We just need to help them all catch the vision and know how to work to achieve that vision. I am really excited and Elder Williams and I expect to see many miracles this transfer. We will also have interviews and a temple trip in there somewhere. I am excited for that too. I am just so excited! I don't know if I made that clear or not haha. Things are going great and I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep being awesome!Oh yes, I forgot. Elder Knowlton is now training a new Elder and Elder Williams is also the District Leader and we drive a Malibu, I thought the corolla was bad but I've since changed my mind.  Elder Knowlton will let me know what happens with Beaver and everyone else.

This is going to be a great transfer!  Love, Elder McKinney

A sister in Sandy texted us this picture and said what wonderful missionaries they are!  This was just a day or two after his transfer...when the weather turned very cold all of a sudden!  These kind of pictures make our day!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Transfer week again...

We are coming up on another transfer. I can't quite believe it. Once again I have no idea what is going to happen. I could stay, I could go, Elder Knowlton could stay, Elder Knowlton could go, we could both go, or we could both stay. I have absolutely no idea. We will find out Tuesday. I hope I stay. I still have work to do here. Plus there is a stake conference coming up with a visiting 70 and President Chambers will be there. Our Stake President went over some of the topics and it sounds like its going to be awesome! But I know the Lord will send me where I need to be. I just don't want to move all of my stuff. We shall see. Its gotten into the 90s a couple times this last week. Those were killer days. I would get so burnt if we were walking! We had another week without any teaching opportunities. But we set up a lot of stuff for this week so I'm not disappointed. We are going to have some more investigators after we have our initial lesson with them. Beaver was married on Saturday. We wanted to go but we were never invited so I don't know how it went. Heard it was good though. So now we will work with him on getting to baptism. I don't think it will be too long until that happens. Eating with the Samoans still hasn't been too bad. We've technically only eaten "with" them two times. The other times they have just dropped off food. But we got the list for the month and there are only a few days scheduled. So I guess we are on our own for the rest of the month. Well, until the 18th of this month. They had the 18th of last month to the 18th of this month. So it is a full month, but not a calender month. Anyways, its been good. My stomach hasn't exploded yet. Almost did yesterday though. We ate with the bishop of that ward and we had some really good food. It wasn't Samoan, but it was delicious. It was just some simple lasagna and mashed potatoes and stuff. We got all the leftovers too. We helped someone who was moving for about an hour the other day. I need to do that more, I would be in much better shape. It was a hot day and a hot basement. But we got a lot done and then had to head out. We are starting to find more work and so this next week and from now on should be a lot better :) Studying the Atonement has been amazing! I've learned a lot. Something Elder Knowlton said though that I thought was good was that we can study the Atonement and know all the things that went on, but until we apply it in our lives and FEEL the Atonement then it doesn't make too much of a difference. I continue to encourage all of you to study the Atonement. I know that doing so will bring greater peace and happiness in your life and you will have a greater desire to share it with others. I love you all and hope you have a great week!